Brazilian companies find a sunny sky in Georgia.
When the Brazilian technology entrepreneur Raphael de Albuquerque was looking for an office in the USA, Metro Atlanta was initially not on the radar. New York, Silicon Valley, and other places topped the list for their reputation alone.
“It’s not normal for us to think of Atlanta over there, especially for tech companies,” said the CEO and founder of Zoox, which operates Wi-Fi platforms and access control systems for hotels and transportation authorities.
Seeing the city with his own eyes, he noted some competitive advantages: ample business support from Georgia’s Ministry of Economic Development and institutions like Georgia Tech, a competitive cost structure, and helpful Brazilian service providers present here like tax and tax legal advisory firm Drummond Advisors.
But one thing overdid it: quality of life, he said during a webinar for the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce Southeast about Georgia’s innovation ecosystem.
“When you choose to go to one place, you are not making your own decision, you have to decide with your family,” said Mr. Albuquerque, a father of two who subscribes to the “happy wife, happy life” axiom and that emphasizes it is important to have a family when it comes to investing across borders – a fact he believes is often overlooked.
Georgian recruitment agencies pride themselves on working as a family, sharing information and supporting companies at different stages.
Mr. Albuquerque was inducted into the Advanced Technology Development Center, the state incubator at Georgia Tech. However, all companies can draw on resources such as the State Trade and Investment Office in Brazil and its innovation centers for IT, agribusiness, aerospace and other key sectors, some of which were on the agenda.
Chris Chammoun, director of agtech innovation center, said the southern part of Georgia has become a magnet for Brazilian agribusinesses looking to bring their innovations to market Forquimica fertilizer company to Colombo North America, which brought a new type of peanut combine harvester to the United States
“It was a new design, a different type of harvester that had never been seen here before, and it was a truly innovative market disruptor, and they are slowly gaining market share,” said Chammoun, adding that this is attractive to Georgia its mix of agricultural research and trade.
Support from Georgia is vital for Brazilian companies, said Pedro Drummond of the consultancy of the same name, but they also need to do their own homework.
“The most successful companies – they customize the product and review the market first,” he said, noting the differences in terms of taxes, immigration, labor law and competition.
Zoox has followed suit, expanding its repertoire from its Alpharetta office and adding new customers such as the New York subway system while flying nonstop from Atlanta and completing the ATDC with its home in Rio de Janeiro in Connection has remained.
“Our technology is growing here – we are very happy and my family is very happy to choose Atlanta as not only our business headquarters but our life center,” said Albuquerque.
ALos on the call were Grant Wainscott, director of ecosystem expansion at the Metro Atlanta Chamber; Mariana Desani, Trade and FDI Specialist in the office of the Georgian Ministry of Economic Development in Brazil; Glen Whitley, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for IT. The discussion was moderated by Maria Luiza Pinho from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. The President of the Chamber, Lucia Jennings, gave an opening speech, while the Chairman, Gene King managing partner for Invest America, shut it out.
Watch the video here: